If I walked in a room and asked everyone who is completely debt free to raise their hands and someone did, I would truly be surprised. It’s not because I’m unaware of the fact that debt-free people do exist, it’s just because I see an abundance of people from all walks of life trying to get their finances in a better place. I myself am one of those people. The inspiration for this post comes after sitting down and looking at my finances for this month. A wrench was unexpectedly thrown into my financial pattern when a mistake was made on one of my checks (hey, it sucks but it happens). This caused me to take a closer look at my money. Where is it going and could I save more?
Here’s what I found:
I started the morning trying to pay a bill online that I have already paid. What can I say, at the point in the day, I hadn’t gotten my Starbucks fix. Once on the site, though I saw something about saving money with a FREE online Energy Audit from GA Power, so I followed the link. It took less than 10 minutes and it showed me how the changes I have made over the past year have saved me money in a monthly comparison of 2011 to 2012. It also provided some suggestions for home improvements that can increase comfort while lowering monthly bills. According to Energy Star, “a home energy audit is often the first step in making your home more efficient. An audit can help you assess how much energy your home uses and evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency.”
After the Energy Audit, I checked out my credit card balance (insert sad face). Just to give a little background, a few years ago I paid off my credit card by paying a set amount ($200 a month) instead of the minimum payment. During that time, I saw the decrease in the balance move rather quickly. Now, after living off of my credit card for one year + span of not working, then a complete career change with a different kind of salary, my credit card balance hit an all time high. I’ve been working to pay it and the balance is moving in the right direction, but it’s not moving fast enough. So, I decided to input my information into a credit card payment calculator to find out the timeframe of being credit card debt free. I added a credit card calculator on the right panel of SMC, but I really like this one from the Consumer’s Alliance because it reveals just how much that credit card is going to cost you, or how you can pay off your existing credit card debt a bit faster. Now, i have an exact goal date and I understand better how a few dollars can make a big difference in the end.
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